Thursday, November 06, 2008
Just when you thought it was safe to pop popcorn...
One of those days. You know the kind. We all have them.
You wake up startled but believing that everything will be okay. Then you sit at your computer right before sundown. Terrified.
Mine started this morning at 5:45 a.m.
I was in the sort of deep sleep that only happens every once in a while. The kind that must be interrupted by loud children. I think there is a law.
"Huh? What? What is it?" Sensing the gifts of Mr. Sandman, I blinked my eyes steadily.
"Mom? Are you awake?"
"What?" I wake up ignorant of any relationships I might have, including my one and only son. I stared at the boy in question, wondering who he was and how he got into my home.
"Mom, I can't sleep."
"What's wrong, Noah?"
"I can't sleep because of the water."
"One of my Star Wars posters is dripping and the noise is keeping me awake."
My eyes opened completely. He didn't look like he was sleep walking. In fact, his eyes communicated he was alert, cognizant, and full of clarity.
That made one of us.
"Did you say your Star Wars poster?"
After inspecting the scene, I concluded that Noah's Star Wars poster was, in fact, dripping. Uh-oh. I woke John and we deduced that our upstairs neighbor must have some kind of plumbling problem. We woke her up and she discovered that her hot water heater had busted.
I distributed towels and pans and decided to call a flood damage guy later in the day.
Later in the day I thought I would put a load in the dryer before calling the flood damage guy.
We inherited our dryer when we moved in. From day one I have understood that this particular dryer is either a)charming and quaint b)incredibly old or c)possessed by an appliance demon.
He (yes I feel he is male, and not female - let's not have that discussion)
doesn't just dry clothes like any old dryer. He must be cajoled and soothed and talked through the process. His door must be taped shut, (he only likes packaging tape - duct tape and masking tape result in the silent treatment with no drying) and his button must be pushed firmly but not too firmly. Said button must remain pushed for a few seconds. If I let go too soon, the dryer becomes mute again and gives me dirty looks.
We've lived here almost two years. Just in the past three months have my dryer and I come to terms with one another.
Today, the dryer rebelled. I let the button go too soon and it stopped. But this time he decided to whine about it. A low hum emanated. This has happened before and I knew that it was time to caress my charming, old and possessed friend. I reached in and turned the walls of the dryer while pushing the button. Voila'! The dryer started up and all was well.
But then, it stopped again. Suddenly, with a whimper one might make stubbing a toe or running into the corner of a table. This sound was new and I turned sharply and startled toward the dryer. (I've seen that Stephen King movie about the car that kills people.)
Silence. Then a smell wafted toward me. Burning. Not the delicious kind like at a BBQ joint or a movie theatre. This was violent burning. Carnage.
I opened the door tentatively. Smoke greeted me as if I'd walked into a 1940s Humphrey Bogart bar. The kind where all the men wear dark hats and all the women speak in low raspy voices.
I opened our back door and began fanning the smoke out.
Eventually, it stopped. No sparks. No fire.
After a couple of hours rest, I tried the dryer again. Apparently, he felt better and was ready to do his job once more.
Now I sit wondering what will happen next. And it will happen. These things always occur in threes. Somehow I've entered one of those horror movies and know that a masked appliance will do me harm after the sun goes down.
If only I could hear the audience yell to me later "Robbie, for the love of God, don't open that microwave!"